As an exercise this week I constructed a list of what had to occur at work in the next 45 days. The list, which ran to three pages when I was done, did not have the direct impact I was hoping for in some people but it did give me pause to stop and think about everything that I had to do.
I then went ahead and started to map out my calendar for the next 45 days. Suddenly, with a vacation and a seminar and two audits, my 45 days had dwindled down to something more like 33. And that is business days - my actual weekdays became something more like 25.
Obviously this is a little less time than I had intended to have.
But the work is still there. And, as has been politely pointed out to me, this work will have a significant impact on my short and midterm future - so it needs to get done. And so a shift has occurred in my thinking at work, from how much there is to do to how am I going to get this all done.
It is a subtle thing, this accepting of things that they are and then trying to figure out how they are going to get done. The energy that I have has been redirected into moving forward on items - or, in a surprise to me, starting to meaningfully delegate items to others for completion and then following up with them on those issues.
It has also changed how I view hours - in other words how I find the time. By treating certain things, such as my vacation and seminar, as inviolate and something that cannot be changed (and something which I intend to think about work or daily tasks as little as possible) I readjust my thinking to how I can extract the maximum amount of work out of the time I have.
Am I truly more efficient? I do not know that I can say that yet - ask me in 45 days. What I can say, at least for now, it that some sort of corner seems to have been turned in how I view time and accomplishments, at least in the work setting. It remains to be seen if this change is of a permanent nature- and if it will grant the rewards it is hinting at.